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In 1995, George and Diane Bernheimer began bringing the people of our past into the present with their portrayals of the men and women of the United States Sanitary Commission; the organization that provided comfort, and support to Union troops during the American Civil War. They have since added other portrayals to their portfolio, including those from the Kansas territorial period of 1854 to 1861. Their portrayals are usually not of the "famous" people of our history but are of those men and women who were ordinary people living in extraordinary times. Whoever is portrayed, the goal is always to give the audience a historically accurate, entertaining, educational presentation, designed to introduce the characters, and to give the audience a better understanding of their time.
The Bernheimer's live in Topeka, Kansas and are active participants in the Kansas Alliance of Professional Historic Performers, Missouri Civil War Reenactors Association, and the National Park Service Volunteers-In-Parks program. They also support, as members, the Shawnee County Historical Society, the Kansas Historical Society, Blackjack Battlefield and Nature Park, the Civil War Roundtable of Eastern Kansas, and the Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site.
Their first-person portrayals of the people of our history are presented to schools, civic groups, church groups, historical interest groups, and as part of living history programs at historical sites and other living history venues. Venues for their portrayals have included: Kansas Historical Society, Constitution Hall Kansas Historic Site, Fort Scott National Historic Site, Nathan Scaritt Historic Site, Shawnee Indian Mission School Historic Site, Shawnee Town Museum, The John Wornall House Museum, The National Frontier Trails Museum, and the Watkins Museum.
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